Goodreads, Books I love, and Family...

My kids are in church and I was sitting here working on the follow up to Ma'iitso Rises, but its kind of loud in here and I'm getting distracted.  Something I've been told to do on Goodreads is to put books on my bookshelf that I've read.  It's supposed to help people connect with me by understanding my background.  So, I started doing that.  At first I was searching by my favorite authors, but that was kind of slow, so instead I just did a blank search for books.  It turns out, in my life, I have read a TON of books!  I stopped rating at 186 books because it was taking me forever since I actually wanted to think about each of these books which have taken up a portion of my life.  "Of Mice and Men" reminds me of my sophomore year of high school.  "The Hunt For Red October" was the first Clancy book I ever read and I remember my father telling me, as a restless adolescent, that I just had to push through those first 400 pages and it would be worth it.  He was right!  "The Scarlet Letter" was easily my least favorite of all time, but thinking about it intrigued me.  Perhaps now that I'm older I'll understand and appreciate it more?  I don't know if I'm willing to take that risk. :-)  All of the C.S. Lewis books bring back amazing memories of my youth.  The same is true of Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer".  I stopped shortly after rating those books because now I can't stop thinking about them.  

One summer, as a child, my mother, father, three sisters and I packed up our full size silver and maroon striped Dodge Ram Van and headed to Missouri.  My mother had been reading us Twain's masterpieces and I remember them really catching my imagination.  The thought of being a couple of friends, stealing around in the night, and sailing down the Mighty Mississippi absolutely appealed to me in every way.  I was so excited for our daily reads when we would get to hear more.  If I remember correctly we would take turns reading the books out loud while the others listened until the smaller children would get restless, and then mom would take over or we would stop.  I was already a semi-voracious reader even at the age of ten or so, and it bothered me that Mom wouldn't let me continue through the books without the others.  I wanted to know what happened!  Well, we finished the books, and went on vacation.  We traveled up and down the Mississippi on a huge paddlewheel boat, visited Merrimac Caverns, and explored various landmarks associated with the books.  We did it all as a family of six in that silver and maroon striped full size van.  I don't remember a lot of arguments, although I assume there were some.  I honestly don't remember a single bad moment of the trip.  Looking back on it, even my sister vomiting all over the inside of the van, which at the time was horrifying, is now kind of awesome.  It doesn't seem that long ago when all of this happened, but it has been 25 years.  Even today, though we're spread across the United States, it's times like that Mark Twain inspired Missouri vacation that have kept us tight knit.  It seems like yesterday my two sons were born, but they are already 5, and 7.  I can only hope that 25 years from now they can think back on something we did together as fondly as I do this.   So, now I'm sitting here thinking about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn floating down the Mighty Mississip with nothing but a raft beneath their feet and a blanket of stars over their heads.  Books rule...

Posted on January 15, 2014 .